10 Best Ballet Boarding Schools In The USA |

Dance is a universal language that individuals can understand from every part of the world. As a parent or guardian in America whose child or ward loves to dance, especially ballet, you may consider sending him or her to a ballet boarding school for his or her junior and high school education. So to help you select, we’ve compiled the best ballet boarding school in the USA.

Several boarding schools offer dance programs for aspiring ballet dancers ranging from pre-professional training to extra-curricular dance programs.

These schools basically combine strong academics and supportive communities with their dance programs to help young artists grow, develop, and succeed collegiately at leading colleges, universities, art schools, and conservatories worldwide.

In this article, you will get the necessary information about ballet boarding schools in the USA. You will also learn why you should study any of them.

Here is a table of what to expect:

What is a Ballet Boarding School?

In very simple terms, a ballet school teaches ballet, especially to children. At a typical ballet boarding school, pupils who live on the premises just like those in a day school, are provided education as well as engaged in ballet dancing programs.

Now, what is a ballet dance?

Ballet is an artistic dance form performed to music, using precise and highly formalized set steps and gestures. It is a classical dance form demanding grace and precision and employing formalized steps and gestures set in intricate, flowing patterns to create expression through movement.

A classical ballet originated in Renaissance Italy and established its present form during the 19th century. It is characterized by light, graceful movements, and the use of pointe shoes with reinforced toes.

Why Study in a Ballet Boarding School in The USA?

If you see the prospect of becoming a professional ballet dancer in your child, then the least you can do as a parent is to send him or her to a boarding high school that offers ballet dancing programs.

Another reason why you should choose ballet boarding schools is that in addition to the chid’s academics, these schools lay emphasis on specialization and pre-professional training.

Usually unique among arts-focused boarding schools, these schools are dedicated to developing the student’s intellectual abilities. They also offer programs supporting professional, vocational, and technical curricula.

Also, some ballet boarding schools are affiliated to top art schools, universities and colleges. So, if the student is exceptional, he or she may get recommendation and support to these schools.

Now, enrolling in a ballet boarding school in the USA will open the student to more opportunities. This is because there are many dance companies and top dance schools like the School of American Ballet (SAB) are located in America.

What are the Best Ballet Boarding Schools in The USA?

Several US boarding high school that offers ballet dancing programs. But for the sake of this article, emphasis will be laid on 10 of them.

Now, taking cognizance of the student’s academic, we’ve ranked these boarding ballet schools in the USA using the following ranking factors:


The grades a boarding ballet school offers can determine the level of facility it’s operating with. That is if it has a low or high facility.

It is often said that students in lower grade usually have more facilities and hands than others.

Average Class Size

This refers to the number of students the ballet boarding school has in each class. A lower number means that the teacher gets to give the students the required attention they need.

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This simply means the fee parents are to pay each year for their child. Tuition shows how affordable the school is.

Based on these factors, here are the best ballet boarding schools in the USA:

  • Walnut Hill School for the Arts
  • Idyllwild Arts Academy
  • St. Paul’s School
  • Westover School
  • The White Mountain School
  • Linden Hall School
  • Saint James School
  • Oldfields School
  • Dana Hall School
  • The Madeira School

#1 Walnut Hill School for the Arts

Founded in 1893, Walnut Hill School for the Arts is an independent boarding and day high school located in Natick, Massachusetts. They offer unparalleled training in dance; music; theater; visual art; and writing, film & media arts, complemented by a robust, college-preparatory academic curriculum.

Walnut Hill School for the Arts is currently one of the best ballet boarding high schools in America.

The Boston Ballet School’s Professional Division at Walnut Hill is a one-of-a-kind education and dance training program that offers world-renowned dance instruction with a best-in-class college preparatory program to provide students with a holistic educational experience.

This joint program educates and trains students for a future with Boston Ballet, the professional dance world, and beyond, including the world’s best conservatories, universities, and colleges.

Here, dance students benefit from the collective expertise of renowned Boston Ballet School faculty, led by Boston Ballet Artistic Director, Mikko Nissinen, Boston Ballet School Director, Margaret Tracey, and Head of Men’s Training, Peter Stark.


#2 Idyllwild Arts Academy

Founded in 1946, Idyllwild Arts Academy is a private school located in Idyllwild, California. It is a unique educational institution with a focus in all art forms for all artists of every age and level of accomplishment.

Basically, the Idyllwild Arts Academy provides pre-professional training in the arts and a comprehensive college preparatory curriculum to a diverse student body of gifted young artists worldwide.

I respect to dancing, Idyllwild Arts Academy is currently one of the best ballet boarding high schools in America.

Summer after summer at Idyllwild Arts, students aged 10-18 are challenged to hone their technique and expressive energy by exploring many different styles of dance.

From ballet to modern, tap to hip-hop, jazz to pointe, the dance faculty draws out each dancer’s inner confidence into becoming an authentic performer. The dance’s framework is designed to mold young Junior Artist dancers by emphasizing fundamentals and essential techniques early on.

So as students progress, they eventually graduate into the High School level intensives that will propel them onward as accomplished dancers.


#3 St. Paul’s School

Founded in 1856, St. Paul’s School (SPS) is a highly selective college-preparatory, a coeducational boarding school in Concord, New Hampshire, affiliated with the Episcopal Church. It is a community of learners, where excellence is a shared pursuit. 

St. Paul’s School is also one of the best ballet boarding high schools in the USA.

The SPS Dance Program basically prepares its students to dance at the college and pre-professional level, offering a rigorous academic education with the finest dance training in a dedicated dance facility.

To be more precise, the SPS Dance Program fosters a fun, nurturing, and artistic learning environment, while training technically proficient dancers with a sound work ethic.

Serious dancers here may audition for the St. Paul’s School Ballet Company (SPSBC), a year-round program that can be substituted for athletic participation at the varsity level.

SPSBC dancers basically work one-on-one with faculty and guest teachers and choreographers, rehearsing daily throughout the academic calendar. They also performing four different programs each school year, including classical and contemporary works. 

It is also important to note that SPS graduates have gone on to dance at different top US universities. They include The Juilliard School, Barnard College, Columbia University, Harvard University, Stanford University, Yale University, Princeton University, Wellesley College, University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, and more.

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#4 Westover School

The Westover School often referred to simply as “Westover,” is an independent college-preparatory day and boarding school for girls in Middlebury, Connecticut, United States. At Westover, they help talented and motivated girls grow into confident and connected women.

Westover is one of the top US boarding schools that offer ballet programs to their students.

The Art Department at Westover basically provides an immersive and varied program that facilitates an interchange of ideas that encourages students to become more aware of the world around them.

The dance program offers advanced and novice classes that allow for deep engagement with faculty and fellow students and include a wide range of offerings for them to explore and expand their personal skills and repertoire.


#5 The White Mountain School

Founded in 1886 and located in the beautiful White Mountains of northern New Hampshire, The White Mountain School is a coeducational college-preparatory boarding and day school for students grades 9-12/PG. Grounded in an Episcopal heritage, they prepare and inspire students to lead lives of curiosity, courage, and compassion.

The White Mountain School is also one of the best ballet boarding schools and colleges in the USA

Through the school’s partnership with Creative Edge Dance Studio, they are able to offer numerous and varied dance opportunities for a White Mountain student to explore or further their interest in dance. Their offerings include academic courses as well as technique and performance-based classes for a number of different dance styles and dancer ability levels.

So whether you are just curious about dance or come to White Mountain with many years of dance training, you can find your stage at The White Mountain School.


#6 Linden Hall School

Founded in 1746, Linden Hall School is the oldest independent boarding and day school for girls in continuous operation in the United States. It nurtures curious and creative thinkers, fosters leadership, and empowers girls to excel.

Linden Hall School is also one of the top ballet boarding schools in the USA. Basically, it offers an academic dance class, a dance team, and a dance club, as well as private instruction.

So, students at Linden Hall have the opportunity to participate in Dance as either an academic course worth a half-credit in either Physical Education or Art or as an extracurricular activity.

Only one academic course in Dance is offered per semester, however, students here may audition for the Linden Hall Dance Team and receive 0.5 credit in Physical Education for a full-year commitment.


#7 Saint James School

Founded in 1842, Saint James School is a private, Episcopal, coeducational boarding and day school for grades 8-12, located in Hagerstown, MD.

St James school programs stimulate and challenge young men and women to cultivate their strengths and improve their skills in multiple disciplines but most of all, to be better people: resilient and self-confident, caring, and helpful.

They are currently one of the best ballet boarding schools in the USA.

Basically, dance at St James school is offered during the winter season in their dance studios. While emphasizing the physical aspect of dance, classes accommodate the needs and interests of students of all levels. These classes are open to beginners seeking a new experience, athletes working on agility and coordination, and more advanced students interested in honing their skills.


#8 Oldfields School

Founded in 1867, Oldfields School is a college preparatory school for girls in grades 8 through 12 in Sparks Glencoe, Maryland.

At Oldfields, they believe that the best learning happens in a space where students are known, their voices are celebrated, and failure is embraced as part of success.

So, as an intentionally small school, they are flexible, creating unique immersive opportunities for each girl to achieve her goals in mind, body, and spirit.

Here, learning means doing and in terms of dance, they are one of the top ballet boarding schools and colleges in the USA. 

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There are unlimited opportunities to express oneself through dance at Oldfields. In fact, it is the hallmark of an Oldfields School experience, every girl, from beginners to the extensively trained, finds a joyful space to shine.

Basically, dancers can participate in jazz, hip-hop, and ballet classes in addition to master classes offered throughout the year.

Other dance options include the After-school Dance, which meets the athletic requirement, and also, the award-winning Oldfields Dance Company which performs in numerous on and off-campus events. 


#9 Dana Hall School

Founded in 1881, Dana Hall School is an independent boarding and day school for girls in grades 5-12 (boarding begins grade 9) located in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

As an all-girls school, Dana Hall provides female students with a particularly advantageous environment for both education and self-development.

As part of the self-development for girls, Dana Hall offers various programs including the dancing. Little wonder they are currently one of the top ballet boarding schools and colleges in the USA.

The dance program at Dana Hall School is designed to build dancers’ skills and create awareness of dance as an art form. At each level, Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Hip Hop, Tap courses examine dance techniques, styles, history, anatomy, and creative expression.

There is also a Dance Repertory Group, a choreography and rehearsal course for performers to develop pieces, work on performance skills, and produce formal and informal concerts.

In addition, the Dance Studio in the Shipley Center for Health and Wellness features a large multipurpose, shock-absorbing surface and state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems.


#10 The Madeira School

Founded in 1906, the Madeira School is an independent boarding and day school that educates girls in grades 9-12 in McLean, Virginia, United States. 

At Madeira School, the academic curriculum emphasizes both content and skills in the context of a liberal arts education. As part of the school’s art programs, Madeira school is currently ranked as one of the best ballet boarding high schools in America.

In fact, dance is the highlight of the performing arts program at Madeira school. This is because classes are taught by professional dancers who perform and teach at the highest levels on the East Coast and internationally.

Basically, the genres offered are ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, and contemporary movement.  All dance classes are taught by sought after dance professionals in the D.C. metro area.  

Also, students here have two dance programs to choose from.  The Select Dance which allows students to train and perform at a high level as well as grow as dance artists. Or, the Madeira Dancers that is open for any level of dancer and offered the same genres as Select Dance at a beginner/intermediate level. 


FAQs On Best Ballet Boarding Schools In The USA | 2023

What is aballet?

Ballet is an artistic dance form performed to music, using precise and highly formalized set steps and gestures.

What is a ballet school?

A ballet school is a school that teaches ballet dance, especially to children.
A typical ballet boarding school is one where pupils who live on the premises just like those in a day school, are provided education as well as engaged in ballet dancing programs.

Best ballet boarding schools in the USA

The best ballet boarding schools in the USA are:

1. Walnut Hill School for the Arts
2. Idyllwild Arts Academy
3. St. Paul’s School
4. Westover School
5. The White Mountain School
6. Linden Hall School
7. Saint James School
8. Oldfields School
9. Dana Hall School
10. The Madeira School


For aspiring ballet dancers, attending a ballet school can help them if they want to pursue a career in dancing. Several boarding schools offer ballet dance programs ranging from pre-professional training to extra-curricular dance programs in addition to their academic program.

The article above provides you with vital information on the best boarding schools in the USA that offer ballet programs.

I hope this helps you in your decision-making process.

Good Luck And Success!!!



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